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Why You Should Stop Saying You Are “Sooo Busy”

Written by: Janylene Turcotte, Cl.hyp, ACC, RTT, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.

 

This article is highlighting the importance of replacing the automatic response, ‘’ I am soooo busy’’ by words that will give you a sense of purpose and control over your time and how you fill it, instead of the implication that time is controlling you!

Have you ever noticed that we all have a kind of knee-jerk response to the question: “Hey, how are you?” A typical reply might go something like this:


“Oh…I am soooo busy (heavy sigh) you have no idea...I’m so sorry I didn’t get back to you but things have been so crazy lately...”


If this interaction sounds familiar, you are not alone. It seems like the social password nowadays is to claim that ‘we are soooo busy,’ to the point where it becomes an overused, but empty reply ‒ a prerequisite that we use to be part of this ‘very busy’ tribe of doers.


I have a growing fatigue for the ‘’ too busy’’ people, whom I suspect are just oversaturated with time spent on social media, have no down-time and are constantly in need of the quick adrenaline fix caused by constant, ( though not necessarily productive) action and a need for perfectionism that eventually leads to a loss of interest in actual human interactions.


Our subconscious mind records everything. So, by constantly repeating that we are ‘sooo busy,' we are simply reinforcing this belief until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.


In reality, we are making choices—between activities, priorities, people, etc.— but it feels as though it is not socially acceptable to state that we are actually making these choices and that instead, all this activity is just being hurled at us! Furthermore, we blindly attach so much importance to 'being busy' that it doesn’t even matter anymore what we are 'busy' with.


Imagine the following conversation, keeping in mind that the responses are 'formal' suggestions that lack the vernacular of everyday conversation:


You: “Hey, how are you?”


Respondant: “I am quite busy, having decided to take on some stimulating activities. I am:

  • training for a marathon,

  • familiarizing myself with the new tasks required in my new position at work,

  • preparing to move to the country

  • renovating my house

  • enjoying the company of my new companion y

  • preparing for a yoga retreat in Hawaii.

(Big sigh) ... “You have no idea how these choices keep me busy!”


Imagine if, in answer to this, you replied as follows:


“Well, I have plenty of time…I go for walks, see my friends, read my new book, babysit my grandkids, go skiing, and oh yes, I am planning a trip to Australia to visit an old friend!”


The truth is, we all have the same 24 hours each day— a portion of which we dedicate to sleep — and, give or take a few hours, the rest is left for us to allocate to activities, seeing people, responsibilities and work, as we see fit.


I often find the “sooo busy “reply is just an empty excuse to procrastinate and/or to elevate our sense of self-importance socially, in the club of worthy and important people. This sense of lacking importance in the world is one of the deeply-wired beliefs that I often find my with clients. Claiming that they are ‘so busy’ acts as a defense mechanism, and is a way for people to 'finally' feel important.


It is almost as if being 'so busy' augments our value as human beings. Have we come to the point where just 'being' or 'living' has no value? Is it better to proclaim your 'busy-ness', in an exasperated tone, bolstering your worth with the implication that you have no choice or control over how your time is spent? Ask yourself: Is the mere fact of 'being busy' enough to make you feel worthwhile?


In the end, this robotic way of 'being so busy,’ keeps us from actually enjoying everything we do. Furthermore, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you are productive (it's ok, you don't always have to be), or that you are doing things that are meaningful (again, it's ok, not everything you do has to have meaning)— but rather, it reduces us to automatons relying on small talk to interaction with others.


My Personal Reflection:


Seven years ago when I was at a yoga retreat in Paradise Island, I was walking in the silky Bahamian water, telling a new friend that I was ‘soooo busy’ and that my executive agenda was already completely booked for the entire year ahead! I remember how important it made me feel at that time just to say these words and how impressed my new friend was.


Well… when I returned from my vacation, I found that I had lost my job due to a major corporate restructuring and poof! my agenda was suddenly empty. This freaked me out and for a while I was at a loss as to what to do with myself. But…after recovering from the shock of suddenly having all this 'free time,’ I decided to take advantage of it by visiting friends and planning a trip, thus filling my day with enjoyable activities that would otherwise have been almost impossible with my fully booked agenda!


As, I've mentioned above, our brain learns by repetition, thus in repeating the empty sentence that you are ‘soooo busy,’ you are merely programming yourself to be even busier and feel overwhelmed. Below, I would like to suggest a few alternatives to help program you in a different way.


Try (a version of) these statements out as a new way to approach how you fill your time and how you express it to others:


‘’I made choices that are aligned with my aspirations and keep me occupied.’’

‘’I have plenty of time to do the things that make me happy.’’

‘’Time is on my side and allows me to achieve what is most important to me.’’

‘’I am happy that you take the time to connect with me…’’

‘’I am being very productive with meaningful activities, including taking the time to …’’

‘’I use my time for what matters the most…‘’


The goal of the above phrases is to retrain your brain’s automatic response. It is a way for you to express that you have control over your time and how you fill it, instead of the implication that time is controlling you!


Once you adopt this new approach, it won’t be long before you realize that you are being productive and useful by ‘choice,’ which will inevitably lead you to realize that you are in fact important and that your sense of importance is a reflection of your own values.


Follow me on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and visit my website for more info!


 

Janylene Turcotte, Cl.hyp, ACC, RTT, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

After more than 25 years as a top-level executive in the corporate world, Janylène Turcotte made a 360-degree career change and became a certified Clinical Hypnotherapist, Coach, and HypnoCoach. While going through her own major life transformation, she developed a unique 3-STEP MODEL as a tool to help herself, and now, her clients, through the complex process of transformation and transition. She graduated from the Marisa Peer School as an RTT (Rapid Transformational Therapy) Therapist. She has been an ICF Certified Coach for more than eight years and hosts the podcast ‘’ It’s Just a Belief’’.

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